Which Bank?

Are you looking for tradesmen,doctors, computers, cars, home and garden services, shops, accountants, lawyers, insurance, leisure services etc in Crete?
Ask a question or add a business or a useful service.
pattysparkle
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:40 am

Which Bank?

Postby pattysparkle » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:24 pm

We will be moving to Chania later this month and could use some advice please
We have Greek Tax numbers but don't have Greek Bank Accounts yet, which I believe we will need for residency
are any of the banks better/worse any recommendations?

YoMo2
Posts: 1148
Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: Which Bank?

Postby YoMo2 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:38 pm

There aren't many Greek banks left to choose from............

Depends what is important to you. Branch network, ATM availability, English speakers at your local branch, what paperwork each bank demands. Most Brits seem to use Piraeus Bank, Alpha Bank, or National, (Ethniki).

Be prepared for some bureaucracy to open the account, wherever you choose.

Good luck.

Andrew

Kilkis
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Which Bank?

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:51 pm

It depends how you want to use it. In Greece, if you use your debit card in the ATM of another bank you get charged a fee. While not huge it does mount up if you are charged every time you withdraw money. It is important, therefore, to have an account with a bank that has a branch/ATM close to where you intend to live or think you will mostly access money. The Cooperative Bank of Chania and Pankritia Bank are both part of the Pan Hellenic Cooperative Bank and have the widest branch network and ATM network on the island so one of them is often a good choice. You can use either card in both networks with no charge.

To set against that, their internet banking is completely in Greek which can be quite challenging unless you are totally fluent in Greek. If you get a pop up that requires an immediate reply and you can't copy and paste it into Google translate it is a bit daunting. I think that the big four, National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank, Piraeus and Eurobank all have English internet banking but check before you choose. If it has a trial system have a go with that.

I would recommend avoiding the National Bank of Greece because if you do need to do anything in a branch the queues are usually horrendous. For the other three I would also recommend avoiding the main branch in the centre of Chania since again the queues tend to be long. While some transactions can be done in any branch there may be certain things that you can only do at the branch where you open the account so think about that. You can't just move accounts from branch to branch. To change branch you have to open a new account at the new branch, transfer all funds and any automatic transactions and then close the old account. All the banks have a branch/ATM finder on their web site I think so look for a branch closest to where you intend to live.

Personally I use Alpha Bank and Cooperative Bank of Chania. I do all internet banking, including transfer of funds from the UK, with Alpha bank, which has a brilliant web banking system, all in English. From there I transfer funds to the Coop bank, which has a branch in my village, and do all cash and in branch transactions with them. The manager lives locally, i.e. about 50 m from my house, and is very friendly and helpful if I ever need something out of the ordinary.

I'm sure any combination of Piraeus/Eurobank with Coop/Pankritia would work equally well. Most people I know never use internet banking and different people have accounts with Piraeus, Coop and Pankritia. As far as I know they are all happy with the service they get so the choice isn't critical.

Warwick

pattysparkle
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:40 am

Re: Which Bank?

Postby pattysparkle » Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:18 pm

Thank you both, very helpful, we are in Rhodes at the moment and I had been wondering if we should open an account here but
from your answer's I think it will be best to wait till we are in Chania.

filippos
Posts: 5715
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Which Bank?

Postby filippos » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:25 pm

Kilkis wrote:The Cooperative Bank of Chania and Pankritia Bank .............. their internet banking is completely in Greek which can be quite challenging unless you are totally fluent in Greek.
According to the manager of our local branch (Kalyves) they have Internet banking in English - certainly for all main transactions like bill payments, money transfers, etc. I haven't yet set it up as, apparently, there's a slight obstacle course to access the set up procedure. It was explained to me and actually sounded quite simple if one took the right steps. Sadly, I didn't think of trying until I'd forgotten what to do and haven't bothered yet to call into the branch for a refresher. I suspect that if I went on to the website and looked at the options that might be a sufficient reminder but there's no real incentive as we also use Bank of Piraeus. Their Internet banking service is excellent, with one minor (for us) exception which is something of which they are aware and intend to put right when next updating their system.

We have accounts in GB Pounds and Euros and we can't transfer funds between them because of the different currencies. That's no problem as we live about 120 metres from a branch and, in any case, we can get a slightly better exchange rate, without paying commission, by using XE.com on the Internet. Use GBP to buy €€ that are paid into the €€ a/c. Normal transaction time is a few hours. (For some reason XE.com cannot accept new clients resident in Greece.)

We've always received excellent branch service from both Piraeus (locally and in Xania) and Pankriti banks and have had no problems with Piraeus Internet banking through which we pay bills and other regular payments.

Kilkis
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Which Bank?

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:05 pm

You could well be correct Filippos. I haven't used Pankritia only the Coop bank. Because they are both part of Pan Hellenic group I assumed they would behave in the same way.

This is the Coop home page http://www.chaniabank.gr/el/the-group/homepage.aspx and this is the web banking page https://www.e-chaniabank.gr/han/online/login.aspx . I can't see any way to change them into English? I am pretty sure the Coop doesn't operate its web banking in English but I will check with the manager.

I am not sure about Pankritia. The home page is certainly in Greek. It has a union jack flag at top right but that just gives a drop down menu for a few documents and contact details in English. It doesn't change the web site to English. I did manage to find a link on Google that suggests it is possible to log in in English, see https://e1.pancretabank.gr/iProfits2/%2 ... eSupport=1. It doesn't seem to work properly when posted as a link so I deliberately stopped it being one. If you look at the web address for that link, however, it is not clear that it is a simple bank login page even though it looks like one. Obviously I can't check what happens when you do log in.

Warwick

filippos
Posts: 5715
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Which Bank?

Postby filippos » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:04 am

Kilkis wrote:I am not sure about Pankritia. The home page is certainly in Greek. It has a union jack flag at top right but that just gives a drop down menu for a few documents and contact details in English. It doesn't change the web site to English.
That's one of the traps apparently. According to the local manager you need to take an indirect route and that's what I can't remember. I'll probably be passing the branch tomorrow and if so I'll call in for a refresher course for the 'correct' procedure.

Kilkis
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Which Bank?

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:24 am

If you click on this link https://e1.pancretabank.gr I think it should take you to the login page directly. It works for me. The flags at top right do seem to toggle this between English and Greek. I am not sure it is fully operational, however. For example if I click on Offered Services on the left hand menu it gives a pop up page with "Server Error 404 - File or directory not found". If I switch to Greek the same menu item, i.e. third one down, works and opens a pdf document in Greek. Work in progress I think although the other menu items all work.

Warwick

filippos
Posts: 5715
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Which Bank?

Postby filippos » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:59 pm

Perhaps the system only works properly once you have registered for Internet banking. According to the local manager this morning the procedure to register is:-
Go to the bank's home page
Do not click the English language option at top right: instead
Click the big e-Banking button (just below the language options)
On the page that opens click the big e-Banking button in the middle of the page
On the next (log-in) page there's a list on the left side with the first item being "Register for e-Banking"
Click that and you are presented with an on-line form to complete personal details, ID, AFM

On submitting the application form a message appears stating that your application has been sent for processing, you will notified of progress at contact information provided in the form and, if approved you will be advised on how to receive your username and temporary password. In practice, that will be for collection at the branch you designated in the registration form.

I've just submitted the form so we'll see how long the process takes. Then I'll be able to try the system and establish whether all the important bits of Internet banking are available in English.

P.S Don't try it immediately. A few minutes ago I tried to follow the route to the registration form again and clicking the second e-Banking button resulted in a page advising that the service is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance, "Please try again later".

Mixos
Posts: 486
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Which Bank?

Postby Mixos » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:29 pm

We have had an account with Eurobank ever since buying property here and I cannot fault their service. The staff in the Sitia branch are as efficient as you could wish for and they all speak English. Eurobank also offers easy to use online banking and they also sell highly competitive insurance for cars, houses, boats etc. What marks them out for me is the friendly personal service, unlike the often surly take-it-or-leave-it attitude I have encountered in the National Bank. I am sure there would be one or more Eurobank branches in Xania.

filippos
Posts: 5715
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Which Bank?

Postby filippos » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:43 pm

Mixos wrote:I am sure there would be one or more Eurobank branches in Xania.
There are. I've had accounts (GBP, EURO, USD there for about six years. Agree about friendly, helpful staff and the Internet banking site is OK but I rarely use them, and haven't at all for at least two years. The branch network outside central Xania is almost non-existent and about four/five years ago they came within a whisker of causing me serious problems by failing to complete on time an international transfer arranged at the branch with one of the senior investment staff.

We also had accounts with Bank of Cyprus who also had friendly, efficient staff, most of whom were retained when the bank was taken over by Bank of Piraeus. Piraeus, at the same time, also took over ATE which has given them a much bigger branch network. They also have a good, comprehensive web site and excellent e-banking (including confirmation by text of all Internet transactions). It's also useful to have, now, a branch within 200m of home.

filippos
Posts: 5715
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Which Bank?

Postby filippos » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:55 pm

Re: Pankriti e-Banking (see earlier posts above)
Submitted on-line form to register for e-banking last Friday (after close of business).
Monday 12:25 received confirmation that registration approved and security device & temp password sent to local branch. Locals will contact me when items arrive (expected tomorrow).

Phaedra
Posts: 492
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:33 pm

Re: Which Bank?

Postby Phaedra » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:25 am

My OH has used the Pankriti E-Banking system in English. Sometimes it works....... We have forgotten the number of times we have had to phone the bank in Kalyves or the headquarters to get things sorted out whilst trying to use it. Apparently the Log-in system is really difficult to use on a regular basis.

filippos
Posts: 5715
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:38 pm
Location: Kalyves
Contact:

Re: Which Bank?

Postby filippos » Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:49 am

I'll let you know my experience when I've had time to try it a few times.


Return to “Shops, Doctors, Professionals, Suppliers & Services”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest